IAS officer and the then Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Rohtak, D K Behera, has told the CBI that the police and fire services did not react to his directions on February 19, 2016, the day when the house of Haryana Finance Minister Captain Abhimanyu in Rohtak was set on fire at least twice during the Jat agitation. He has also said he was not aware why the police were withdrawn on that day from the minister’s house when the violence was on peak.
In his statement to the CBI recorded on April 11, 2018, and accessed by The Indian Express, Behera said, “On receipt of information from the house of Capt. Abhimanyu, I further passed directions to fire services and police officers to send the police… assistance at the House, but no response was received. All of them were making excuses of road blockades and attack of crowd.”
A 2007-batch Haryana cadre IAS officer, Behera is currently Director, Haryana Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Department.
The CBI had recently filed a chargesheet against 51 accused, including an advocate named Sudeep Kalkal, for the attack on the house of Abhimanyu but kept the investigation open to unearth the larger conspiracy.
According to the IAS officer, Kalkal informed him that some agitators had been kept hostage by the police personnel deployed at the house of Abhimanyu. The officer said that Kalkal requested him to get their safe release so that “he (Kalkal) can ask other agitators to come back from the house of Capt. Abhimanyu”.
According to Behera, he contacted the duty magistrate Gulab Singh and also one family/staff member at the house of the minister over phone to confirm the information. He got confirmation that no person/agitator was kept hostage in the house.
“Gulab Singh informed me from the house of Capt. Abhimanyu that none of the police personnel deployed there were available… they had vanished… no one was kept hostage at the house. I don’t know whether any extra police force was deployed at the house of Capt. Abhimanyu on February 18, 2016 evening. I was also not aware how they are withdrawn on February 19, 2016,” Behera mentioned in his statement to the CBI.
In view of the worsening situation of law and order after the attack at the house of Captain Abhimanyu, Circuit House and other Government properties by the agitators, the then DC, after consulting with the senior officers and Additional Chief Secretary (Home) called in the Army from Hisar, Jaipur, Alwar and Ambala.